Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Graduate School–Newark
About the University
Graduate Study at the University
Financial Aid
Academic Policies and Procedures
Degree Requirements
Programs, Faculty, and Courses
Course Information
American Studies 050
Behavioral and Neural Sciences 112
Biology 120
Graduate Courses
Business and Science 137
Chemistry 160
Creative Writing 200
Criminal Justice 202
Economics 220
English 350 (Includes American Literature 352)
Environmental Science 375
Environmental Geology 380
Global Affairs 478
History 510
Jazz History and Research 561
Liberal Studies 606
Management 620
Mathematical Sciences 645
Nursing 705
Peace and Conflict Studies 735
Physics, Applied 755
Political Science 790
Psychology 830
Public Administration 834
Urban Environmental Analysis and Management
Urban Systems 977 (Joint Ph.D. with NJIT)
Women's and Gender Studies 988
Divisions of the University
Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  Graduate School–Newark 2015–2017 Programs, Faculty, and Courses Biology 120 Programs  


The Federated Department of Biological Sciences of Rutgers University–Newark and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers programs leading to the master of science (M.S.), master of business and science (M.B.S.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. For a complete description of all programs, please visit the program website at

M.S. Program
The M.S. in biology is designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop both depth and breadth of understanding in present-day biological disciplines. The program requires a minimum of 30 credits and includes a capstone thesis that is the result of either a laboratory/field or a library research project. All students are required to successfully complete a core curriculum that consists of at least one 3-credit course in each of four of the following five core areas: (1) cell biology/biochemistry, (2) molecular biology, (3) computational biology, (4) ecology/evolution, (5) plant biology. In addition to the minimal 12-credit core requirements, students must complete an additional 12-15 credits of elective coursework, 6 credits of laboratory or 3 credits of library research, and successfully prepare a written thesis. During the initial phase of graduate study, the student works with the M.S. program coordinator to select a course of study geared toward his or her career goals and to identify a prospective thesis adviser. In consultation with his or her thesis adviser, the student will prepare a plan for completion of the research phase of the program, which serves as the foundation for writing and defending the thesis.

M.B.S. Program
The M.B.S. in Sustainability is designed to help students identify, analyze, and better understand connections among social, environmental, technological, and economic systems. Sustainability covers issues of sustainable resources, carbon sources/sinks, brownfield recovery, and utilization. Students enrolled in the program have the opportunity to take courses at both Rutgers University–Newark and Rutgers University–New Brunswick. For greater details about the program, please see the catalog link provided at the beginning of this paragraph and visit the program's homepage at

Ph.D. Program
The Ph.D. program in biology offers students an opportunity to work in three specific fields of research namely, cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolution, or computational neuroscience. Each of the three options requires 36 credits of coursework and 36 credits of research. The following is a brief summary of major program requirements:

A. Program Core Course Requirements
1. Critical Thinking for Life Sciences (48:120:630 or NJIT:BIOL:630)
2. Quantitative Analysis (48:120:615 or NJIT:MATH:615)
3. Effective College Teaching (26:120:560)

B. Discipline-Specific Core Course Requirements

Cell and Molecular Biology
1. Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (26:120:524)
2. Molecular Biology of Eukaryotes (26:120:515)
3. Biochemistry (26:160:581)
Ecology and Evolution
1. Biodiversity (26:120:523)
2. Evolution (26:120:532)
3. Ecophysiology (26:120:593)
Computational Neuroscience
1. Foundations of Mathematical Biology (48:120:502 or NJIT:MATH:637)
2. Analytical and Computational Neuroscience (NJIT:MATH:635) or Systems Computational Neuroscience (NJIT:MATH:636)
3. Systems Neuroscience (48:120:641 or NJIT:BIOL:641)

C. Elective Courses

All graduate students have the opportunity to add to their knowledge base by properly selecting elective courses. In addition to course offerings in the biology graduate program, elective courses may be taken from offerings in graduate programs at Rutgers University–Newark, NJIT, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and Rutgers University–Camden.

D. Laboratory Rotations
Laboratory rotations provide opportunities for research and independent study with graduate faculty members. During the first year of study students are required to complete a minimum of two laboratory research rotations (spring and summer semesters).

E. Qualifying Exam

After the fourth semester in the program, each student must successfully complete the qualifying exam, which is intended to examine a student's preparedness to initiate a scholarly Ph.D. dissertation project. The qualifying examination will consist of written and oral components. After successfully completing the qualifying examination, the student is admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree.

F. Dissertation and Thesis Defense

Once a student has attained candidacy status, he or she chooses an adviser, begins research for the dissertation, and forms a dissertation committee. The dissertation committee is responsible for reviewing student progress and for conducting the final examination at the formal thesis defense.

Bridge Courses
Students who hold baccalaureate degrees in an academic discipline that differs markedly from the programs offered by the Federated Department of Biological Sciences may be required to take additional courses to remedy any gap in preparation for graduate work. These courses must be completed before 12 credits of graduate-degree courses are earned. Bridge courses are not counted as degree credits. They do count, however, in the graduate GPA calculations if the course is numbered 500 or above.

Departmental Facilities

The department's Analytical Microscopy Facility is second to none in the state of New Jersey. Facilities include a FEI Tecnai 12 TEM equipped with a Gatan high-resolution CCD camera, a Zeiss spinning disc confocal microscope equipped for TIRF and live cell imaging, a Zeiss microscope mounted with Perkin-Elmer spinning disc optics for imaging slice tissue, a Nikon-Bio-Rad MRC 1024 Laser scanning confocal microscope, a Zeiss 510 Meta confocal microscope equipped for multi-photon imaging and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, a Zeiss Vivatome microscope system for single cell physiology observations and multiple image analysis and processing workstations. In addition, the department has a FACS Calibur fluorescent cell sorter, an AutoMACS immunomagnetic cell separator, an Applied Biosystems real-time PCR apparatus, a typhoon scanner, scintillation and gamma counters, FPLC, an AAALAC approved animal facility, and a greenhouse. Individual research laboratories house tissue culture facilities, electrophysiological equipment, fluorescence microscopes, thermal cyclers, and digital plant canopy and root analyzer. Students also can take advantage of additional facilities that are available at neighboring institutions. Rutgers Graduate School–Newark maintains affiliations with the New Jersey Medical School and at New Jersey Institute of Technology and various industrial research laboratories.
For additional information, contact RU-info at 732-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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